This might be our favorite righteous justice story of the year. It’s almost too perfect in its details.
A couple of weeks ago, a woman at a Massachusetts Mexican restaurant stormed up to the bar and slapped a Make America Great Again hat off another patron. She yelled at him the usual nonsense – Trump is a fascist, people like the cap-wearer were the problem with America, and that he should not be allowed to wear a MAGA hat in a Mexican restaurant. After the police were called, she was escorted out of the establishment – but before they got her out the door, she took another swipe at the hat. She was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and simple assault and battery.
That might have been the end of this interesting but somewhat mundane tale, but now comes another twist. Apparently the assailant – Rosiane Santos – is, well, not exactly in this country legally.
From the Washington Post:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officers from the agency’s fugitive-operations team detained Santos on Tuesday, an ICE spokesperson said in a statement. The woman was released from ICE custody and entered into removal proceedings in federal immigration court, the official said. She is expected to appear in court at a future date.
It is not clear how ICE learned of Santos’s case. The Falmouth Police Department told The Washington Post it did not know of her immigration status at the time of her arrest and did not notify ICE. It is possible, a police spokesperson said, that a notification to ICE was triggered when Santos’s name was entered into the department’s systems.
John Mohan, an ICE spokesman for the New England region, told The Post that “ICE does not publicly discuss intelligence and research tools and methods that our agents and officers may use in their work.”
Santos’ lawyers are downplaying the seriousness of the ICE intervention, telling a local news site that Santos is married to a U.S. citizen and is merely awaiting her green card status. They said that her application will now be reviewed by an immigration judge rather than by Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is the only thing that has changed since Santos’ arrest.
But we wouldn’t be so sure that’s the whole truth. If Santos is in the United States without, as the Washington Post puts it, legal documentation, getting arrested for assault and battery was an extraordinarily unwise thing to do. We’re not saying she’s necessarily headed for deportation, but we have to imagine it is on the table, no matter what her lawyers are saying.
Poetic justice, indeed, wouldn’t you agree?